Categories of Disability Under IDEA

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Categories of Disability Under IDEA by Mind Map: Categories of Disability Under IDEA

1. Emotional Disorder

1.1. …means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child’s educational performance: The term includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance.

1.1.1. (a) An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.

1.1.2. (b) An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.

1.1.3. (c) Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.

1.1.4. (d) A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.

1.1.5. (e) A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

1.2. Interventions: Teachers of children internalizing problems are asked to: 1. monitor medications for side effects and behavioral fluctuations 2. assist with behavioral treatments in the classroom 3. reinforce cognitive behavioral interventions related to classroom

1.3. Problem 3

2. Deaf-Blindness

2.1. Definition: Concomitant [simultaneous] hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness.

2.2. Intervention: Use of residual hearing (speaking clearly, hearing aids) or sight (signing within a restricted visual field, writing with large print). Tactile signing, sign language, or a manual alphabet such as the American Manual Alphabet or Deafblind Alphabet (also known as "two-hand manual") with tactile or visual modifications. Interpreting services (such as sign language interpreters or communication aides). Communication devices such as Tellatouch or its computerized versions known as the TeleBraille and Screen Braille Communicator.

2.3. Case Study: Hellen Keller is famous for her autobiography and the dramatic depictions of her life of triumph over her disabilities. After learning to communicate using signs written into her hand by her teacher and friend Anne Sullivan, she went on to be educated at several schools including Radcliffe College. She became proficient in reading braille and even was able to experience music by placing her hands on a table top while music was played nearby. She was an outspoken advocate for many causes including women's suffrage, the rights of disabled people and was a pacifist. Her autobiography, "The story of my life" is easy to find online and is free on kindle.

3. Autism

3.1. Definition: Developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

3.2. Intervention: 1. low student/teacher ratio; 2. family involvement, including training of parents; 3. interaction with neurotypical peers; 4. social stories, ABA and other visually based training;[35] 5. structure that includes predictable routine and clear physical boundaries to lessen distraction

3.3. Case Studies: Three well written and complete case studies may be found at:

4. Deafness

4.1. Definition: A hearing impairment so severe that a child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

4.2. Tech: The use of CART (Communication Access Real Time) systems, where an individual types a captioning of what the teacher is saying, is also beneficial.

4.3. Intervention Two general methods of deaf education are manualism and oralism. Manualism is instruction using sign language, and oralism uses spoken language. Although controversy has existed since the early 18th century about which method is more effective, many deaf-educational facilities attempt to integrate both approaches. The National Association of the Deaf advocates a bilingual approach, to best support deaf students in their education.

5. Hearing Impairment

5.1. Definition: An impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance but is not included under the definition of “deafness.”

5.2. Interventions: For a classroom setting, children with hearing loss often benefit from interventions. One simple example is providing favorable seating for the child. Having the student sit as close to the teacher as possible improves the student's ability to hear the teacher's voice and to more easily read the teacher's lips. When lecturing, teachers should try to look at the student as much as possible and limit unnecessary noise in the classroom. In particular, the teacher should avoid talking when their back is turned to the classroom, such as while writing on a whiteboard.

6. Intellectual Disability

6.1. Definition:  Significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently [at the same time] with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

6.2. Intervention: Younger Children: Typically, one-to-one training is offered in which a therapist uses a shaping procedure in combination with positive reinforcements to help the child pronounce syllables until words are completed. Sometimes involving pictures and visual aids, therapists aim at improving speech capacity so that short sentences about important daily tasks (e.g. bathroom use, eating, etc.) can be effectively communicated by the child. All students: Cognitive-behavioral treatments involves a strategical-metastrategical learning techniquethat teaches children math, language, and other basic skills pertaining to memory and learning. The first goal of the training is to teach the child to be a strategical thinker through making cognitive connections and plans. Then, the therapist teaches the child to be metastrategical by teaching them to discriminate among different tasks and determine which plan or strategy suits each task

7. Multiple Disabilities

7.1. Definition: concomitant [simultaneous] impairments (such as intellectual disability-blindness, intellectual disability-orthopedic impairment, etc.), the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in a special education program solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf-blindness.

7.2. Interventions: 1. A multi-disciplinary team consisting of the student’s parents, educational specialists, and medical specialists in the areas in which the individual demonstrates problems should work together to plan and coordinate necessary services. 2. Involvement of the appropriate professionals (E.g. occupational therapists, speech/language therapist etc.) 3. The arrangement of places school and homes must be easily accessible. 4. Have a buddy system that ensures their needs are heard and that they get aid when needed. 5. Give Simple and Specific and Systematic instructions to what you exactly want the person to do. 6. Use visual aids when communicating with the child. 7. Engage the child regularly in oral language activity.

7.3. This is a case study from Kentucky about a student named Kevin who has cerebral palsy. It made me realize the complex emotions that parents have about their children with disabilities. As a parent of two healthy boys (one more on the way)I couldn't imagine the daily struggles that these parents go through. The full study can be found at:

8. Orthopedic Impairment

8.1. Definition: A severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by a congenital anomaly, impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis), and impairments from other causes (e.g.,cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).

8.2. Intervention: As psychosocial environment has bee shown to play a role in onset of O.I., modifications to the physical and psychosocial environment can be made. Other approaches to prevention in school settings include matching the person's physical abilities to the tasks, increasing the person's capabilities, changing how tasks are performed, or changing the tasks. Limiting heavy lifting, training, and reporting early signs of injury are examples that can prevent MSD.

9. Other Health Impairment

9.1. …means having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that—

9.1.1. (a) is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome;

9.1.2. (b) adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

9.2. Intervention: Individualized Educational Plans to allow child to work at their own pace.

9.3. Case Study: Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States suffered severe asthma as a child. At the time there was no cure. Determined to beat the disease, against the warnings of his physicians he participated in rigorous physical exercise as documented by Candace Millard in her book on Roosevelt "River of Doubt".

10. Specific Learning Disability

10.1. Definition: A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; of intellectual disability; of emotional disturbance; or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

10.2. Academic Interventions include: Direct, explicit and comprehensive instruction in the structure of language A systematic sequence for teaching individual skills Structured information from the simple to the complex Simultaneous multisensory approaches, including combinations of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic modalities Interaction between student and teacher during instruction of new skills Reinforcement throughout the day of newly learned skills Integrated spelling and handwriting instruction sequence with reading instruction, so that they are mutually reinforcing Extended practice for each skill until the student overlearns the skill (see Overlearning and Automaticity) Ongoing review of previously learned skills Careful pacing to avoid information overload Intensive instruction until reading, spelling and writing skills are at grade level. Repeated reading to help develop fluency and reading rate[5] Paired reading to help develop fluency and enhance comprehension.

10.3. Case Study: Dyslexia There are multiple case studies on dyslexia to be found at the following link: The one about Holly was surprising to me as I thought that most cases would be discovered in school. She went to a special center. After being diagnosed and with the aid of some services and a special laptop, she was able to graduate university.

11. Speech or Language Impairment

11.1. Definition: means a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

11.2. Intervention: Usually includes speech therapy. There are also online groups which support each other and promote fairness towards suffers. See:

12. Traumatic Brain Injury

12.1. Definition: An acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech.

12.1.1. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma.

12.2. Intervention: Physical therapy, speech therapy, recreation therapy, occupational therapy and vision therapy may be employed for rehabilitation.

13. Visual Impairment Including Blindness

13.1. Definition: An impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.

13.2. Intervention: Most blind and visually impaired students now attend their neighborhood schools, often aided in their educational pursuits by regular teachers of academics and by a team of professionals who train them in alternative skills: Orientation and Mobility (O and M) training - instruction in independent travel - is usually taught by contractors educated in that area, as is Braille. Blind children may also need special training in understanding spatial concepts, and in self-care, as they are often unable to learn visually and through imitation as other children do. Moreover, home economics and education dealing with anatomy are necessary for children with severe visual impairments. Since only ten percent of those registered as legally blind have no usable vision, many students are also taught to use their remaining sight to maximum effect, so that some read print (with or without optical aids) and travel without canes.

14. Developmental Delay

14.1. Definition: For children from birth to age three (under IDEA Part C) and children from ages three through nine (under IDEA Part B), the term developmental delay, as defined by each State, means a delay in one or more of the following areas: physical development; cognitive development; communication; social or emotional development; or adaptive [behavioral] development.

14.1.1. Intervention: Children with developmental disabilities can be much more independent when they have strong visual cues to guide them through the physical space of the classroom. You can, for example: 1. Use boundary markers such as barriers (e.g., bookcases or other furniture), rugs, and colored tape on the floor to represent boundaries between spaces that are used for different functions. Marked boundaries make it easier for children to know when they are in a space that is dedicated to play, one that is set aside for study, etc. 2. Store common classroom materials (e.g., school supplies, games) on accessible shelves or in see-through storage containers. When needed, provide labels for these materials (using pictures paired with words). Train students in the procedures that you want them to use in accessing the materials (e.g., first raise hand, then request teacher permission, then go to supplies shelf to get a pencil.)

14.2. Early intervention services are the main theme of treatment, but any underlying conditions that have led to developmental delay will need to be treated as well. Early intervention services may include: Speech and Language Therapy Occupational Therapy Physical Therapy Behavior Therapies, such as those used to treat autism and behavioral issues